Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

Carl's The Sims 3 Tips - Read and Submit Your Tips

This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.

On this page, you'll find a list of Sims 3 Tips created by myself and other players of this great game. We've now published nearly 150 guides to the Sims 3 and will be updating this page with more tips in the future. You can share too -- just submit it from our Sims 3 Forum and if your gameplay tips are good enough, I'll add them to the list and give you credit. So, please use a username I can give credit to, gibberish just won't do!

The Sims 3 General Gameplay Tips

These tips are little tricks you can do to help your Sims in their daily lives.

  • Passive Moodlet Bonuses While the room and environment needs are gone from the Sims 3, your Sim will still love being in a beautifully decorated room. It will give a boost to mood based on how decorated the room is. A simple, cheap painting, or paper towels and other small decorations can help initiate this boost. Shove it through the stratosphere with plants, sculptures, rugs, a fireplace and other decorative items. Normal Sims can get up to +40 mood boost, while over emotional Sims can hit +50 from decorations.

  • Listen to Music Sims can get a bonus moodlet called 'enjoying music' from listening to the stereo. This is useful no matter what they're doing: working from home, cooking, or studying. You can even pack a portable boom box to take with your Sim (drag it to their inventory). Use the portable stereo to play your Sim's favorite music while fishing. Listening to favorite music gives a boost over any other type of music. Stereos can also be upgraded with the improve speakers upgrade, which will make the bonus even better. Different stereos will give different mood boosts based on how expensive and high-quality they are. Thanks Eric!

  • Save Your Sim Time Tidying Up. You can now drag items from the counter, directly to the trash can. Old newspapers and dirty dishes are perfect candidates to be tossed while your Sim's asleep at night. It'll help pass those hours fast-forwarding, and your Sim will wake up with no extra cleaning to do. Sadly, you can't wave a magic wand and clean the counter or sink, so they'll still have to do that. Thanks Kate!

  • Sell Objects at the Consignment Store. No matter your trade, you will earn more from your goods by selling them at the Consignment Store (Ambitions). Start off by selling small things to raise your rank and your better items like paintings and nectar will have some time to age before you cash in. Thanks Pernille and Metropolis Man

  • Split Item Stacks. You can drag entire stacks of items to another Sim by dragging the little triangle in the top left of its picture in your inventory. What if you want to give them only some of the item stack? Hold down shift when you click on the triangle and drag it to the Sim you want to have the items. A window will appear that will ask you how many items to transfer. Thanks, Ricalynn!

    The Sims 3 Lifetime Rewards/Happiness Tips

    These tips will help with gaining lifetime happiness points faster so your Sim can afford those great rewards!

  • Keep on Top of those Wishes. It's easy to forget they're there. After all, they don't really announce themselves. If you fast foward too often, you'll miss wishes that can be promised that could earn your Sim a lot of points. Try not to pick wishes that stray too far from what your Sim is already interested in, unless it's worth a lot of happiness points. After all, those four slots can fill up fast and you want them to be used by wishes your Sim can actually complete without too much effort.

  • Cancel Actions. If you are making your Sim do an activity just to complete a wish, you can save time by canceling the action just after the wish is completed. For example, go to the park (and go right home). Thanks Sportsfan.

  • Keep your Sim Happy for more Points. If you want your Sim to have a lot of lifetime rewards, try to keep their mood bar high. When the mood bar is high, your Sim will always be gaining points. This adds up a lot over a day, and over a week could be enough to purchase a reward all in itself. Happy Sims get the most rewards, hands down.

  • Some Lifetime Rewards are Better than Others. This concept is simple. If you're going to spend those lifetime reward points, use them where they can have the greatest effect. Dirt Defiant and Steel Bladder are both great choices. Steel Bladder is the best here, because it removes the need to use the bathroom entirely, saving Sims loads of time the longer they have it. Dirt Defiant will let your Sim stay squeaky clean long after a shower if they're not a gardener or athlete. It will help them get less dirty otherwise. The Food Replicator can also save a lot of time. Cook some perfect lobster thermador or tri-tip steak, then store it into the replicator. Your Sim won't have to cook for quite some time, and can replicate meals on demand.

  • Study Before You Buy Rewards You may not want to risk buying that 25,000 point lifetime reward, not knowing what it does. Some rewards are much more useful than others, depending on the Sim, of course. Read my guide to Lifetime Rewards for tips on choosing the best ones for your Sims.

    The Sims 3 Skills Tips

    These tips will help you to gain skills faster in the game. This is valuable help for Sims who have a lot of time crunch due to parenting or work.

  • Study in the Library or Work Out at the Gym. This is a great Tip: These two environments boost skill gains. Reading in the library tends to go faster, and athletic Sims will gain levels in the athletic skill faster if they work out at the gym.

  • Study Happy - whether it be while fishing, or reading in the library, your Sim will rise in skill faster if they're in a good mood.

  • Combine Fun with Skill Gains to optimize your Sim's time, look into ways they can raise their skills while having fun. This is by no means every way, but it's got something for every skill. Athletic Sims can play ball with other Sims or swim
    Charisma Watching TV with another Sim may raise charisma. Otherwise, they can certainly satisfy the social need by chatting.
    Cooking Sims can have fun while watching Cookin' Cable on $500+ TV
    Fishing itself is naturally fun for Sims.
    Gardening can be raised by watching Got Garden?($500+ TV).
    Guitar Playing guitar's fun by itself, if only slightly.
    Handiness Not aware of a way to raise this while having fun.
    Logic Sims can have fun playing chess or searching the sky.
    Painting Painting is fun.
    Writing Sorry, don't think so.

    The Sims 3 Working Tips

  • Develop a Good Routine Before Work to help your Sim get promotions faster, you should always try to go while they've recently had fun and/or have eaten a good meal. Mood is a factor in every career track in the Sims 3. Fun is probably the most important, because your Sim's Fun bar will drain while the're at work. This will help them to use the work hard action more often, causing the promotion bar to rise faster. The least important need to satisfy before your Sim heads out the door is the bladder bar. Why? Sims can use the bathroom at work. There's almost no point to wasting the time unless your Sim really needs to go. Showers should be mandatory before work though, Sims can't well shower at work and most people can't either.

  • Working Efficiently is key to your Sim's success. My tip here is simple: If your Sim is about to get promoted anyway, don't do anything special at work. The bar can't go past the top, and always resets to 0 after the promotion. Keep this in mind when your Sim gets the opportunity to read a book for work, and it's not on a time limit. In this example, read the book after you've got your promotion to get that boost toward the next level. It's also good to know before you use the work hard action. If your Sim needs relationships with his co-workers, and is about to be promoted no matter what he does, spend the time at work socializing and making connections. This will help them in the future, and they'll snag the promotion anyway.

    I'll add more tips as I come up with them. In the meantime, feel free to share yours at our forum.

    Comments (71)

    1 2 3 > [last]
    Hannah says...
    Thanks those tips really help! It is a shame there is no way to have fun while but the tips are really good and so is the website
    4th October 2012 5:48pm
    Libby-Tori-Jane Matthews says...
    Sorry for the long name. I hate it. This website doesnt help me because i already know these things but it is helping other people which is good. :-)
    19th October 2012 4:13pm
    SimerGirl says...
    I honestly don't mean to be rude at ALL, but what's the point in posting that?? I bet this website has at least ONE thing you don't know because I admit I just got the game for my birthday (June 15) and my friend who's had the game for three years I already know more than she does. I haven't even played it yet so I don't think I have the right to say that to you but I will anyway and my name is just as long. BTW: sorry
    17th June 2013 6:27pm
    bellabrokie says...
    my birthday is also on june 15 and if you want cheats just search sims 3 or 2 cheats
    19th November 2013 2:40am
    Cat-Mathews says...
    Ummmm you are being rude and nobody wants to here your whole life story P.S i am trying to be rude to YOU!This might be helpful to noobs i bet when you were new to this game you didnt know what to do,or if you did know you dont have a proper exsperiance cause you watched you "friends" play oh yeah i went there simer girl whom clearly knows nothing about sims cause she cant spell simmer probably
    7th April 2014 5:02pm
    Chloe-Cortez says...
    Uhhh can you not
    16th April 2014 10:54pm
    Barbie says...
    You can now wave a wand to clean counters, I think :) If your witch has enough wizarding skills. :)
    28th October 2012 6:09am
    bklienhart says...
    Using the witch's spell to clean the house will cause any leftovers in the fridge to spoil as soon as they are removed. You'll need to put them on the counter before casting the spell, then back into the fridge.

    Genies can also use magic to clean the house. As far as I know, they don't have the same problem with food spoilage.

    3rd April 2013 3:01pm
    christina says...
    In Sims 3 Supernatural genies can magically clean the house...But you have to have Sims 3 showtime to get the genies.Thank you for the tips but already knew them...
    Withes in supernatural get the same ability but sometimes using these spells can spoil the food in the refridgerator.
    4th June 2013 1:34pm
    jade says...
    these tips are so helpful! i am so greatful for this website!!!
    28th October 2012 8:11am
    sbarnes29 says...
    Why do my Sims keep using their umbrellas & parasols inside?
    30th December 2012 4:16am
    Elizabeth says...
    Because it protects them from the heat and sun. The umbrella is to prevent them from being soaked in the rain
    21st March 2013 1:26am
    DarkNinja says...
    OMG! I'm having the same problem! My sim was outside so I made him walk in and he was still using his umbrella around the house! It was pretty funny! XD To be honest, he is the dumbest sim in the household! Almost everyone else has Logic Skill level 10!
    2nd April 2013 4:00pm
    skootaloo22 says...
    In Sims 2 my Sim would always be glitched with an umbrella, so it was permanently attached to their hand.
    22nd April 2013 11:11am
    Shelby says...
    When I played the sims for xbox as a kid, my sim was glitched with a garbage bag in her hand! It was so funny.
    12th October 2013 8:33pm
    bellabrokie says...
    Ya, once my couple was getting married and the guy was serving drinks and then the drinks and the serving board got stuck on his hand and then he couldn't get married.
    19th November 2013 2:55am
    sadiexsue says...
    i was just wondering if theres a house available to download that has L-shaped corner stairs. i cant for the life of me figure out how to do them properly with out them floating! on a related note are there any links you can post to downloading any of your the homes listed in the tutorial via thesims3 exchange? thanks a lot!
    3rd January 2013 5:18pm
    Sera says...
    You can make one, by putting one set on one floor, building a small fenced landing on the 2nd floor(some fences matches some railings) then connecting the landing with another staircase perpendicular to the first leading to the third floor.
    I don't think there is any way to make one whole l shaped staircase. You can always check for custom content somewhere.
    11th November 2013 7:21pm
    Bryanacute says...
    As a simmer, I find this website VERY helpful. This is the first place I go for help.
    18th January 2013 5:46pm
    SimerGirl says...
    Ditto dude!!
    17th June 2013 6:31pm
    Sarah says...
    Same here! I even link to it constantly on my blog.
    18th September 2013 6:25pm
    Dack Fight of the Dink Network says...
    A little thing I found out useful is, if you have a sim work hard make sure to not let his/her stress moodlet go to 20 hours or you get the overworked moodlet, and don't work hard again or you get it.
    23rd January 2013 8:32pm
    plady1234 says...
    These tips are very helpful, but maybe you could add different ones that some advanced players don't know, like for example can the grim reaper live with you? Or maybe even add some cheats in there :) its already perfect the way it is, just asking if you could add more for the less noobish people xD ~Alex
    1st February 2013 10:06pm
    YourTwin says...
    You can kill the grim reaper.Just have testing cheats on and force two birthdays on him and then when your sims die they just lay there.It's sad actually
    Yes you can kill the reaper but then you glitch your game as a new reaper will not be generated.
    24th June 2013 12:05am
    cassmartin says...
    actually i did kill the reaper and i got a new one, it did not glitch my game,weird.
    31st July 2013 4:38am
    Ella says...
    If your game is like mine it will freeze and somtimes crash (not my computer its the game) so save it alot because you never know when it might freeze
    2nd February 2013 3:54am
    SimerGirl says...
    Mine just did that!! It does that to my friend ALL the time and she gets so at her laptop that she SLAMS it shut every time!! Then I say "karma". It's HILARIOUS!!!
    17th June 2013 6:40pm
    ingrid hill says...
    im new to Sims, so this maybe a stupid question
    1. I disabled aging in my sims, can I still do babies?
    2. My fiance has ridiculous traits, can I change it? How? Or just ditch him?
    3. some already has "partners" can I steal them? Whats the fastest way?
    4th February 2013 8:02pm
    Jasmine says...
    1.You can still have babies but they wont grow up from what age they are.

    2.When you push R2 your light will turn white and when you click on him while its white it'l say age him or change personality plus add to family.

    3.If the person is married it'l be harder but you add him to you family but turning to the white bar [I told you how ]then add him,if you have to many people in your family then you cant.Next you go on him and you flirt with the Sim you want him to marry And this would be the fastest way unless you want to call him over every day with him rejecting you.

    3rd March 2013 12:28pm
    Isabel says...
    3. Get really friendly with him until he's your best friend or so them ask him to move in. If your relationship is high enough he will say yes. Then play as him and go break up with his wife, but ask to be friends so your still buddies. Then go about marrying him.

    Hope this helped!!

    18th May 2013 8:06pm
    1 2 3 > [last]
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